As V.E. Day in 1945 approaches Princesses Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) and Margaret (Bel Powley) are desperate to be allowed to exit the palace and join in the celebrations, something that both King George VI (Rupert Everett) and Queen Elizabeth (Emily Watson) are not agreeable to. But after Elizabeth pleas with her parents they agree to them going out incognito but with military chaperones and under the strict rule of being back 1 a.m. But aware that the itinerary their mother has devised does not meet with their expectations Princess Margaret goes rogue and ditches her chaperone leading Princes Elizabeth to go after her in order to try and bring her home by the deadline.
For a brief moment ignore that "A Royal Night Out" is about the Royal family, in particular Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, and what you have is a simple drama about one fun loving sister going rogue on town at night and the other "good" sister trying to catch up with her to make sure she doesn't end up in trouble. There is almost some thing cliche about it as we get the adventures they have, the people they encounter, the trouble they get in to and the friendships they make. In fact this sort of comedy/drama story could easily have been the basis for a Walt Disney movie back in the 60s as it is that sort of idea.
But of course "A Royal Night Out" is about the Royal Family and as such is very much about the Royal characters. As such we do have Bel Powley as Margaret giving it as a princess desperate to have fun and will do so no matter what; naive to the dangers she puts herself in to do so. At the same time we have Sarah Gadon as Princess Elizabeth giving us the dutiful daughter, the good girl but open to the experience of getting to know people and how they feel. It is the perfect mix with both Emily Watson and Rupert Everett bringing some Royal humour with the way their characters react and behave.
What this means is that "A Royal Night Out" gives us this wonderful mix of everything from drama to comedy as well as entertaining characters. But what you also get is a sense of 1945 and the celebrations which engulfed the capital and the country when peace arrived. Of course I wasn't even a twinkle in my father's eye back then and so have no idea how close the movie really gets but it gives you not only a feel of the atmosphere but also the patriotic nature of the country back then. But it isn't all one sided as you get this mix of optimism but also with some who are jaded by the war and what the future holds for them.
What this all boils down to is that "A Royal Night Out" is a nicely rounded bit of entertainment with drama, adventure, romance and plenty of laughs making it well worth the watch although not something which has enough depth to make it a movie that you are likely going to feel like watching again soon after.